Flintshire County Council worked with Flintshire Local Voluntary Council (FLVC) to recruit a group of volunteers to provide supplementary support during the coronavirus pandemic.
FLVC recruited 200 volunteers to support community activities during the crisis; 64 of these were allocated to the Council’s Social Services team.
The volunteers have provided vital support to the continued delivery of core social care services as well as undertaking activities specifically in response to the COVID-19 crisis. For example:
- PPE delivery to older people’s care homes and domiciliary care providers to support care provision; PPE, sanitising, and cleaning packs to all schools in the County to support the reopening programme
- Grounds maintenance and decorating to support the opening of a new Older People’s Care home
- Support to Extra Care residents and to people in assisted living locations
- Supporting third sector group to provide shopping deliveries
- Support to the vulnerable children’s Shoebox Appeal distribution
- Telephone support to older and/or vulnerable residents to reduce loneliness and isolation
The partnership enabled an effective recruitment process, with FLVC having closer engagement with citizens, as well as a strong reputation and trust. Social Services were able to allocate a small, temporary team to oversee administrative processes and allocate volunteers to activities, and links with their Workforce Development Teams and HR teams were established to support these processes.
The Council’s Strategic Policy Advisor performed a key support role, providing a Council -wide view of volunteering and making links with other authorities to share best practice.
A strategy is being developed to transition to a more long-term arrangement. This will support future volunteering opportunities as well as any repeated health crisis.
Volunteers have developed new skills, achieved personal satisfaction, and have recognised, with pride, their contribution in helping to support people in a time of crisis.
A care home staff member said ‘The volunteer has been absolutely amazing thank you. She has given the residents and the staff a little boost, something to look forward to a few times a week.
‘It helps the staff undertake some of those tasks that aren’t getting done as regularly as normal. This has been a real positive thing to come out of this awful time.’